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fillings
 

 

 

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Are there any alternatives to fillings?

Adhesive dentistry is another form of this treatment. This involves bonding the filling to the tooth. The dentist has to remove less of the tooth, which is obviously better.

As we have already said, there are alternatives such as crowns and inlays although they can cost a lot more. Veneers can be used on front teeth instead of crowns or fillings.

 

Are white fillings as good as silver amalgam fillings?

White fillings have always been considered less long lasting than silver amalgam fillings. But there are now new materials available with properties comparable to silver amalgam, and these are proving to be very successful. The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite. Your dentist can advise you on the life expectancy of your fillings. However, any fillings
provided on the NHS are automatically guaranteed for one year.

 

Are white fillings expensive?

Because many white fillings are classed as a cosmetic treatment, you can only have them done privately. So costs can vary quite a lot from dentist to dentist. Costs usually depend on the size and type of white filling used and the time it takes to complete the treatment. Costs may also vary from region to region, but your dentist will be able to give you an idea of the cost before you agree to treatment.

 

Is it worth replacing my amalgam fillings with white ones?

It is usually best to change fillings only when your dentist decides that an old filling needs replacing. If so you can ask to have it replaced in a tooth-coloured material.

Some dentists prefer not to put white fillings in back teeth as they are not always successful. One way around this would be to use crowns or inlays, but this can mean removing more of the tooth and can be more expensive.

 

What are tooth-coloured fillings made of?

This can vary, but they are mainly made of glass particles, synthetic resin and a setting ingredient. Your dentist should be able to give you more information about the particular material they use.

 

Where can I get white fillings done?

Most dental practices offer white fillings as a normal part of the treatment they give you.

 

Why should I consider white fillings?

Most people have fillings of one sort or another in their mouths.

Nowadays fillings are not only functional, but can be natural looking as well. Many people don't want silver fillings that show when they laugh or smile because they are more conscious about the way they look.

 

Are there any risks from amalgam fillings?

Mercury in dental amalgam is not poisonous once it is combined with the other materials in the amalgam filling. Its chemical nature changes so that it is harmless.

Research into the safety of dental amalgam has been carried out for over 100 years. So far, no reputable controlled studies have found a connection between amalgam fillings and any medical problem.

 

What are amalgam fillings?

Amalgam fillings are silver coloured. They are made by combining mercury and a silver alloy (50% mercury, 35% silver, 15% tin, copper and other metals). Amalgam is long lasting and hard wearing and has been used in fillings for at least 150 years. It is economical to use and it is not unusual for an amalgam filling to last 15 to 20 years.

This kind of filling is normally used on the back 'chewing' teeth. Before the filling can be placed, the area must be prepared by removing all the decay and shaping the cavity to hold the filling in place. If the tooth is badly broken, your dentist may need to place a small stainless steel pin to help secure the filling.

 

What are composite fillings?

Composite fillings are strong, but may not be as hard wearing as amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are tooth coloured and are made from powdered glass quartz, silica or other ceramic particles added to a resin base. After the tooth is prepared, the filling is bonded onto the area and a light shone onto it to set it. The dentist will choose a shade to match your existing teeth, although over time staining can happen.

 

What are glass ionomer fillings?

Glass ionomer fillings form a chemical link with the tooth. They may also release fluoride, which helps to prevent further tooth decay. This type of filling is fairly weak and, because of this, is usually limited to use on baby teeth and non-biting surfaces such as around the necks of the teeth. Little preparation is needed as the filling bonds directly to the tooth.

 

What are amalgam fillings?

Amalgam fillings are silver coloured. They are made by combining mercury and a silver alloy (50% mercury, 35% silver, 15% tin, copper and other metals). Amalgam is long lasting and hard wearing and has been used in fillings for at least 150 years. It is economical to use and it is not unusual for an amalgam filling to last 15 to 20 years. This kind of filling is normally used on the back 'chewing' teeth. Before the filling can be placed, the area must be prepared by removing all the decay and shaping the cavity to hold the filling in place. If the tooth is badly broken, your dentist may need to place a small stainless steel pin to help secure the filling.

 

What are composite fillings?

Composite fillings are strong, but may not be as hard wearing as amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are tooth coloured and are made from powdered glass quartz, silica or other ceramic particles added to a resin base. After the tooth is prepared, the filling is bonded onto the area and a light shone onto it to set it. The dentist will choose a shade to match your existing teeth, although over time staining can happen.

 

What are glass ionomer fillings?

Glass ionomer fillings form a chemical link with the tooth. They may also release fluoride, which helps to prevent further tooth decay. This type of filling is fairly weak and, because of this, is usually limited to use on baby teeth and non-biting surfaces such as around the necks of the teeth. Little preparation is needed as the filling bonds directly to the tooth.

 

Why should I consider white fillings?

Most people have fillings of one sort or another in their mouths. Nowadays fillings are not only functional, but can be natural looking as well. Many people don't want silver fillings that show when they laugh or smile because they are more conscious about the way they look.

 

Are white fillings expensive?

Because many white fillings are classed as a cosmetic treatment, you can only have them done privately. So costs can vary quite a lot from dentist to dentist. Costs usually depend on the size and type of white filling used and the time it takes to complete the treatment. Costs may also vary from region to region, but your dentist will be able to give you an idea of the cost before you agree to treatment.

 

Are white fillings as good as silver amalgam fillings?

White fillings have always been considered less long lasting than silver amalgam fillings. But there are now new materials available with properties comparable to silver amalgam, and these are proving to be very successful. The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite. Your dentist can advise you on the life expectancy of your fillings. However, any fillings provided on the NHS are automatically guaranteed for one year.

 

Is it worth replacing my amalgam fillings with white ones?

It is usually best to change fillings only when your dentist decides that an old filling needs replacing. If so you can ask to have it replaced in a tooth-coloured material.

Some dentists prefer not to put white fillings in back teeth as they are not always successful. One way around this would be to use crowns or inlays, but this can mean removing more of the tooth and can be more expensive.

 

What are tooth-coloured fillings made of?

This can vary, but they are mainly made of glass particles, synthetic resin and a setting ingredient. Your dentist should be able to give you more information about the particular material they use.

 

Where can I get white fillings done?

Most dental practices offer white fillings as a normal part of the treatment they give you.

 

Are there any alternatives to fillings?

Adhesive dentistry is another form of this treatment. This involves bonding the filling to the tooth. The dentist has to remove less of the tooth, which is obviously better.

As we have already said, there are alternatives such as crowns and inlays although they can cost a lot more. Veneers can be used on front teeth instead of crowns or fillings.

 

Can I have white fillings?

For over 150 years standard fillings have been made out of a silvery-grey material called 'amalgam'. This is still one of the strongest and longest-lasting materials available for fillings. However, many people find it unattractive and some are concerned about possible health risks.

White fillings are now becoming a popular alternative to amalgam fillings. The new dental materials mean it is much easier to find a perfect match for the shade of a particular tooth. In most cases, it is quite impossible to see that the tooth even has a filling. Sometimes white filling material can be used to cover unsightly marks on the teeth, in a similar way to veneers.

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